Many pundits and fans felt one of the Habs’ biggest weaknesses was a lack of
size. The team went a long way towards helping that, selecting RW Michael
McCarron with the 25th pick in Sunday’s draft. McCarron, at 6’5 and 228
lbs, is the tallest and heaviest forward in the draft, while his 182 PIMS this
past season also led all forwards.
This was quite a controversial pick as many believed that McCarron was
destined to be a second rounder; even he admitted that he didn’t expect to be
selected as high as he did. He does bring some much needed grit to the
table while the hope is that his offensive game will develop enough to play in
the top six. McCarron has spent the last two years in the US National Team
development program; he played 59 games this past year for the U18 team,
collecting 16 goals and 21 assists. He suited up for Team USA at the
recent World Under-18’s, picking up three goals (in the final three games) with
a pair of assists.
He has committed to Western Michigan University for next season, coached by
Andy Murray (and also where Montreal prospect Michael Cichy plays). The
London Knights of the OHL have his junior rights and some believe he will be
persuaded to go there next season.
From the Scouts
The scouts are very torn on his potential. Some feel he has legitimate
top six potential while others feel McCarron’s upside is rather low.
Hockey Prospect: The hulking,
Western Michigan commit is one of the more polarizing players in this draft
class. It’s easy to look at a big player and wish for more of an edge,
that road has been well trod and often ends in disappointment, but even if he
were 5’10”, he would still be too passive. For a player of his size, he loses
50/50 battles too often and doesn’t pursue loose pucks with enough intensity.
Future Considerations: "He has some impressive tools like strong
skating ability, balance on his feet and a hard shot off the rush as well as the
ability to finish in close but is not overly creative and needs to compliment an
offensive minded linemate to get best results."
TSN: "Has good
awareness and with the ability to impact the game with his size which carves out
some room for himself, he then can make good plays. A very intriguing ‘big body’
Hockey News: "One scout suggested if McCarron were 6’0 instead of 6’5,
he would be an afterthought in this year’s draft."
ISS: "McCarron is the most improved
forward for the second half of the season no question. Perhaps carries the highest
amount of NHL potential on USA squad."
Hockey Prospectus: "McCarron is not an overly gifted offensive player,
but he has decent hand-eye coordination, and an above-average amount of
offensive instincts, enabling him to maintain possession with more than just his
frame. He flashes good offensive plays here and there, but he still appears raw,
and his overall feel for the game is unimpressive, despite some late-season
TSN: 34 ISS: 23 Hockey Prospect: 35
Central Scouting: 35 (NA Skaters) McKeen’s 33 Hockey